the storage heater in the office used to be situated behind my chair. though i'd never go so far as to claim myself impervious to the cold, it would appear my imperviosity (new word) is greater than that of my female accounting colleagues. the elderly woman who occupied the book-keeping position almost a decade ago would signify the need for the convector option to be switched on, by stating "it's chilly this morning," when entering the office each morning. unfortunately, this regularly failed to take account of the fact that i might be quite comfortable thank you very much.
at the end of each winter's day, i had scorch marks up the back of my jumper.
her successor is no better in this respect. though the heater has now been moved to the left and away from directly behind my seated position, she still complains of feeling cold (like yesterday, for example), puts the booster on and stands in front of the heater for five or ten minutes until fully thawed. in winter months this is a rather iniquitous situation, for having cooked most of the morning, popping out at lunchtime for a newspaper and a couple of rolls leads to something of a shock to the system, unless one is prepared for the near sub-zero onslaught.
preparation can come in one of two ways: either nip through to the toilet before departing, where the ambient temperature would satiate a family of polar bears or, more commonly, have to hand an appropriate form of sartorial defence. something like one of the new vulpine quilted jackets.
gone are the days when owning or wearing a quilted jacket would lead to continual comparison with michelin's bibendum. i was reminded of just such a situation when a large gentleman arrived at the office only the other week to purchase jazz festival tickets. though there was nary a cloud in the sky and the temperature more favoured short sleeves, this moustachioed fellow, wearing a flat tweed cap and a heavily quilted jacket seemed quite oblivious. the latest offering from the fine fellows at vulpine bares scant resemblance to such a mental picture.
the cosy bit that would not only be of great benefit to my accounting colleague, but allows the jacket to own a sylph-like constitution that not only redefines the hyphenated adjective paper-thin, but has on one occasion given into sudden panic that i had left it behind at the coffee shop. to put it in a nutshell; it's thin and weighs next to nothing. but apart from those admirable features, it also has a malevolent character that has seriously called into question my abilities as a reviewer of proffered sartorial excellence.
allow me to explain further.
any jacket created for the purpose of velocipedinal pragmatism, other than out and out speed, ought to bring with it several day to day benefits. many of these are catered for with aplomb: two zipped hand pockets, full-length quality zip, full lining, a tough cotton/canvas shoulder panel (of contrasting colour) to fend off rucksack straps, and a small, unzipped rear pocket in which those of you chained to your mobile phones can keep the device close to hand. there's even a loop at the collar to hang on the coffee shop coatstand.
but i have need of carrying a rather bulky wallet, or on occasion some odds and ends that i'd rather not talk about at the moment. where the flipping heck am i supposed to put those? shouldn't a rather classy jacket offer a touch more cargo space than the three pockets described above? that's precisely what i thought too, so while the fit and construct are mightily impressive, i was set to lambast the vulpiners over this gargantuan missing detail.
and that is precisely where the jacket's evil twin had me fooled. for hidden in behind the main zip at chest height is a concealed, zipped internal pocket, one that comfortably swallowed my bulky wallet (if only the bulk was created by wads of cash, i'd be so much more happy). imagine the detrimental effect on my career and standing in the community if i had gone public with this supposedly glaring omission? the man hussey would have laughed on both sides of his face.
but alls well that ends well. the jacket has acquitted itself well in the sparse quantities of drizzle and mizzle that have interrupted our hebridean indian summer, and i can more than witness the efficacy of that primaloft gold in chillier moments. though i have only ridden it on a bicycle with copious mudguards, the inclusion of a drop tail will not only keep out any untoward chills, but prevent wet gloop form infesting your posterior.
you might wish, however, to pay close attention to the garment's sizing. as a matter of course, whe asked which size of jacket or jersey i would like to review, from any cycle clothing provider, i would mostly devolve to medium. without to much fussing about, that is most often the delineation that fits me to a tee. however, having given the same answer to vulpine headquarters, that which arrived was clearly marked small. however, 'tis obvious they know better than i, for the small jacket fits superbly without any tendency to restrict blood flow to the outer limbs. (for the record, i'm a slim 5'10" with a 38" chest).
vulpine do not advertise the quilted jacket as being fully waterproof. there is not a taped seam in sight, but its minimal constitution promises a relatively quick dry should you be caught in an unexpected thunderstorm. the two zipped front hand pockets are well judged in size, coping with a piles of loose change i'd swear weren't there on friday and keeping hands warm on a chilly morning constitutional. zipping them up before hanging it in the overburdened hall cupboard ensures that loose change stays where it is. and not that i'll have the opportunity or need this coming weekend, but if traipsing round the national cycle show in birmingham's national exhibition centre in insufferable heat, having to carry the jacket would be a less than onerous task.
i confess this isn't the garment i'd have expected from vulpine, but now that i have a bright red example hanging close by, i am mightily impressed. it now seems like exactly the jacket i should have expected.
maybe i'm losing my touch?
wednesday 24 september 2014..........................................................................................................................................................................................................